New Op-ed: What Doing Business With China Actually Costs
What Doing Business With China Actually Costs
Tariffs on Chinese imports have the nabobs of negativism nattering on about how American consumers will have to pay more at the mall this Christmas. These talking heads know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Instead of focusing on who is paying what, they should be asking who are we doing business with.
The Communist regime in Beijing claims it is practicing “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” but in reality it is nothing more than a criminal enterprise.
The rap sheet, well-documented and acknowledged by everyone outside the Forbidden City, includes intellectual property theft, counterfeiting, cyberespionage, drug trafficking, organ trafficking, religious persecution, imprisonment of political dissidents and ethnic cleansing of minority populations.
Now, thanks to first hand testimony in Nanfu Wang’s disturbing new film “One Child Nation,” we can add to the parade of horrors infanticide, gendercide, forced abortion, sterilization, and human trafficking. These are the crimes the Chinese Communist Party organized and perpetrated on a nationwide scale under its notorious “one-child policy.”
A War Against Their Own
The one-child policy officially was instituted in 1979, ostensibly as an “economic development” plan, and remained in effect until 2015. The film shows clips of Tom Brokaw and other American TV news anchors at the time parroting the party line: having only one child, they said, would double citizens’ incomes.
Through songs, slogans, plays, school textbooks and films, Chinese Communist propagandists told citizens they were fighting a population war. It was a war against its own people, with women and children the frontline casualties.
We meet the former head of the filmmaker’s village who enforced the policy, demolishing the homes of families that had more children than allowed and forcing women to be sterilized after having their allocated one child.
We meet the family planning official lionized in party propaganda films and feted with awards and encomiums from Hu Jintao, the nation’s former leader. She tells us she performed abortions in the eighth and ninth months, killed babies born alive and chased down mothers who would “cry, curse, go insane” and try to flee.
The filmmakers’ aunt and uncle tell us they wanted a boy child and left their newborn daughter in a basket in the marketplace to die days later. We are told it was common to find dead babies covered in maggots in the market.
We meet the midwife who delivered the filmmaker. She says she conducted between 50,000 and 60,000 forced abortions and sterilizations under orders from the party. She says, “Many I induced alive and killed after they were born.” (Governor Northam would perhaps like to speak with her about this.) She says women were “tied up and dragged to us like pigs.” She acknowledges her crimes and says she now lives to atone for her sins.
A State-Run Human Trafficking Racket
We meet Chinese artist Peng Wang. He’s made the one-child policy the subject of his artwork.
He became engaged by the topic quite accidentally when he was photographing garbage for an art project and found the body of a female baby in a trash heap. As he looked elsewhere, he found more bodies.
He shows us photographs of human remains stuffed in plastic bags. He shows us the body of one of babies he has preserved. Peng wonders why It looks like it’s smiling. “It’s as if he knew it’d be miserable to be alive in China, and he was happy to have avoided it.”
We meet the man state-controlled media said ran the country’s largest human trafficking ring. He claims to have sold 10,000 babies.
He describes how he would find babies abandoned along roadsides and bring them to state-run orphanages that paid him $200 for each one he brought.
Beginning in 1992, China allowed international adoptions through state-run orphanages. It was a highly organized and efficient operation. Qualified couples—mostly Americans and Europeans—would pay from $10,000 to $25,000 to adopt a child.
As demand for “orphans” skyrocketed, the trafficker enlisted a network of trash collectors and taxi drivers who collected babies from garbage heaps and roadsides the way people in our country collect empties to return for the deposit.
But this trafficker had competition from the Communist Party.
In 2011, a Chinese journalist broke the story of state officials who took babies from families and sold them to “orphanages” that in turn sold them to foreign couples.
We watch the journalist interview a mother whose daughter was forcibly taken by officials to an “orphanage” where she was adopted by Americans. (The journalist is now exiled in Hong Kong; his work is banned in China.)
The one child policy was a racket for officials to line their pockets. The party was running a human trafficking operation on an international scale.
(It should be noted that as a result of the policy, China has the most skewed sex ratio in the world, can’t meet its workforce requirements, and lacks enough young to care for the elderly.)
American Trade Enriched a Foreign Criminal Enterprise
The casual demeanor of the perpetrators is as disturbing as their stories of murder and mayhem. Remorseless party apparatchiks and parents say “they had no choice” as they describe the horrors, sometimes with a smile and a laugh.
Communist indoctrination taught the individual to submit to the collective. Myopically committed to what (they were told) was “for the good of the country,” citizens were incapable of moral objection.
Before you say that couldn’t happen here, remember the talking heads who say for the sake of cheap consumer goods Americans should forsake moral objections and do business with a regime that murders its own people in clinics, hospitals, prisons, camps, Tibet, Xinxiang and Tiananmen square.
We’ve been here before.
In 2000, it was common knowledge Beijing had institutionalized forced abortion, infanticide, religious and political persecution and a host of other human rights abuses.
But the Washington-Wall Street establishment, of which Joe Biden and Bill Clinton were a part, told us our trade relations with China should no longer be linked to Beijing’s human rights record.
They told us if we just gave business the “certainty” it needed to make long term investments in the People’s Republic, China would become more prosperous, more free and more “like us.”
Congress acquiesced and decoupled our trade relations with China from human rights.
Business had certainty. China became more prosperous.
But China did not become more “like us.” To the contrary. If we close our eyes and continue doing business with the criminal enterprise that is Communist China, it is we who will have become more like them.
-Curtis Ellis is Senior Policy Director for America First Policies.